Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday/Cupcake Chronicles: Bobbette & Belle

$2.95 each - Top L-R: red velvet, raspberry, mango | Bottom L-R: cookies & cream, chocolate, (and I think) apple spice

The Cupcake Chronicles have become something of a life mission.  I’m still looking for the best cupcake in Toronto, only it’s expanded – I’m also looking for the best cupcake in every city that I visit, if they’re available.

On this edition of the CC, I try the offerings from Bobette & Belle, a pretty well-known bakery down at the Beaches.  A lot of my fellow foodists have been wanting to make the trip down there
to try their cupcakes and their macarons.  Making those two things is a double-threat and seems to be an excellent way to bring in customers.

As someone in the marketing field, I must say their branding is beautifully done.  Their products are also presented well.  But what I care about most, the quality and the flavour? Meh. Utterly uninspiring.
$2.00 ea. - gianduja (aka chocolate hazelnut), cassis, vanilla
Let’s start with the macarons, shall we?  First of all, I’m really not a macarons person so actually, I’m not a good person to judge them, although I can spot a good macaron when I taste one.  I mean, in an entire year of living in France, I can count the number of macarons I ate on one hand. 

So the Bobette & Belle macarons were well-formed.  The technique is there.  The flavours, however, were unremarkable.  Actually, all three of the ones I bought tasted about the same.  And, typical of macarons, they were much too sweet.  I get that a lot of sugar is required for macarons to hold up their shape.  I get that, I do.  But when there isn’t much of a discernible flavour to begin with, and the sweetness is cloying…it just doesn’t work.

I also got a tube of chocolate hazelnut cookies from them (which I forgot to take photo of).  The packaging was very nice, and the cookies themselves were very cute – a brown stripe sandwiched by two white stripes on either side.  But the flavour, again, was lacking.  I think there was too much salt in them and not quite enough sugar.  The butter didn’t make up for it.  Also, I feel like the hazelnutness wasn’t as outstanding as it could’ve been.  Like, it barely tasted of hazelnuts, and the cocoa contributed more to the colour of the cookie than the flavour.  So that was unfortunate.  The saving grace was the texture – not too crumbly, not too hard – that part of it was very nice.

As for the cupcakes themselves – they are cute.  The decorations are simple but appropriate and appealing.  The flavours, however, were also unremarkable.  I mean, they’re nowhere as bad as The Cupcake Shoppe, where all they make is cupcakes and still there is no discernible difference in any of their flavours.  But the B&B cupcakes just don’t immediately leave a strong impression of exactly what flavours they are.  There’s also way too much icing – the icing to cake ratio is very important to me.  The cake is a bit too dense for my liking – I prefer really silky, smooth, fluffy cake bases.  All in all, really nothing special. 

The pricing for the macarons and cupcakes are on par with their competitors but the cookies were rather expensive and completely not worth their price, in my opinion. 

So…I really wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone.  Their products aren’t the worst I’ve ever had, but they’re not exactly tasty either, and why ever waste time having food that is not at least good?

1121 Queen Street East 
Toronto, ON
M4M 1K9

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